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Performance Bike Spring/Summer 2016 cycling kit impresses, again

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With a dedicated team of designers and product managers, Performance Bike’s namesake cycling clothing gets the kind of attention bestowed on standalone boutique lines, yet benefits from the chain’s massive buying power to bring truly top level kit at bargain basement prices. And this year’s spring/summer collection is no different, bringing about mostly incremental improvements from what we saw last year.

The premium Ultra line carries over all the same items with updates to the styling and design, and men’s sizing gets a little more fitted to be truer to size (which is a welcome update…last year’s jerseys were a bit too baggy to be sitting at the top of their race-oriented SKU). They get Askin’s circular-knit polyester fabric that feels cool once you start sweating and is woven tight enough to be opaque and offer UV protection. Yet it’s not hot. The men’s jersey gets revised mesh panels on front of shoulders and under arms, and similar changes on the women’s jersey, too.

Click through to see the complete collection, top to bottom, mens and womens, plus their commuter-oriented CHCB line…

Performance-Bike-2016-Ultra-SS-jersey-bib-shorts

The Ultra Short gets major updates, starting with a new chamois that was in development for 1.5 years with Italian manufacturer TMF. The new foam is lighter, wicks better, and is breathable thanks added ventilation holes. They went from a six panel to a 10 panel design, but keep the Cold Black treatment so the black fabric won’t feel hot in direct sunlight. They also kept the wide leg bands, but they are a new material that use a softer fabric that’s able to be sublimated, which means they’ll be able to offer more colors… plans are for some subtle blues and hi-vis colors.

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The Ultra’s 2015 chamois on left, compared to the new 2016 pad on right.

Main body fabric is more compressive, offering a sleeker fit and better muscle support, with lighter mesh bib straps up top. Particularly interesting is that they’re Italian fabrics, but are made in SoCal, and it’s only $110 at full retail.

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Women’s Ultra 2015 chamois on left, new 2016 on right.

Women’s shorts get the same updates with a female specific chamois.

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Sitting just above the standard Ultra line is the Ultra SL, which is paired down a bit to save weight for the racers. The bib short carries forward unchanged save for new colors and a lighter weight chamois and mesh on the bib straps. Otherwise, construction and material is the same as the regular Ultra bibs.

New is the SL jersey, which loses the fourth (zippered) pocket and is 100% polyester. And comes in this sweet orange color. Men’s only.

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The Elite line was so successful for them last year that they mostly left the feature set alone. The chamois gets upgraded with a square-hole pattern on the top layer for better breathability. The red and blue blocky stripes are still there but get a bit of a chevron shape. New is the hi-vis green/yellow with stripe pattern on the side.

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Men’s Elite 2015 chamois on left, new 2016 on right.

The shaping on the men’s pad is, um, a little more supportive in the front, too. The leg band loses the silicone gripper strip in lieu of a fold over lycra band to improve comfort. Women’s also get graphical updates, with striped side panels and good color blocks on the main body. Reflective hits are all around, with a blinky light loop on the bottom under the pockets. Shorts only for women, no bibs.

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Not shown, the Elite Team Kit carries over the same, just gets updated styling. New women’s version (not offered before) with purple floral pattern and purple color blocks.

The Club jerseys and shorts are their most basic offerings and carry over unchanged. They’re meant for the newbie, as is the Great Ride Series of no-drop shop rides they host around the country. They say almost 50,000 riders participated in their Great Ride Series in 2015, and this year they’re adding some basic tech training to it, too, showing little stuff like how to tune a derailleur, etc.

Also designed specifically for the very casual cyclist is their new Sport lineup. It’s designed to look more like gym attire for those uncomfortable with tight fitting “cycling” gear. And it’s meant as a price point line, with cycling specific “gym short” type line. The tops are a Poly Tech tee, available as a sport mesh or heather material with tailored back and single flap pocket with external headphone cable port and loop.
Women’s version also. Great for basic activity, spin class, gym, whatever.

The bottoms are available as an overshort, a lined short and a padded liner. Lined short has a sewn-in mesh liner with pad, and the external material is a little heavier. Padded liner is sold separately, too, for use under any shorts or pants. Men’s is all black, women’s is printed to coordinate with some of the Sport tops higher up their totem pole, like the Trill tank top, the Lyric (v-neck) and Alto (1/4 zip).

Performance-Bike-Food-Truck-graphic-cycling-jersey

Outside their hierarchy are the graphical jerseys. The silly designs are a basic polyester, 3-pocket, 3/4 length zipper jersey. Formaggio is new, with “Italian” themed minty colors. Since “Ride to Eat” is a common theme amongst us cyclists, they created a jersey to celebrate it. Shown above, the Food Truck Jersey came about because they get food trucks at the office each Friday, and menu items are listed on the pockets. On sale for $49.99 all day every day. Their state flag jerseys add a North Carolina jersey to CA, TX, AZ, CO, FL. They have a relaxed fit for all, not gender specific. Also worth checking out are their exclusive Primal designs include Dia de Muerte, Hawaiian and polka dots.

Performance-Bike-mens-Farlow-MTB-Jersey

The men’s Farlow mountain bike jersey carries over with new Hombre graphics. An all-new women’s Ridgeline (named after Ridgeline in Dupont, NC) uses similar Hombre faded design matches up with new print for Novado shorts.

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Left to right: Men’s James, Chatham and Hyland tops.

For Performance Bike’s commuter-oriented CHCB collection, there’s no more wool in the lineup, and colors get brighter. New Chatham polo is 100% poly with reflective button pocket, somewhat fitted. Hyland Crew and James western-style button up get a contrasting pocket.

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The Ross Short (left) is named after one of the guys in the clothing department, gray matches pocket on Hyland. The VC II short gets different colors, using a dark gray textured pattern with solid black stretch panel. Side pocket’s mesh lining gets sewn into place so something heavy like a cell phone won’t sag below the leg opening. Reflective rear pocket flap gets a more subtle textured reflective print rather than a solid silver panel.

CHCB-Womens-Morgan-Crew-Stepphie-Polo

For women, the Stephy polo (right) is named after two Stephanies that work on the clothing team. The Morgan crew (pocket T) is super soft and gets patterned contrasting pocket.

performance-bike-chcb-civii-shorts-and-skortCivii II shorts get same updates as VC II, and the new Civii Skort gets an unpadded liner and side zipper pocket.

All items available now. Prices? You want prices? Just know that they’re probably all already on sale and are an amazing bargain. I’ve been riding the new Ultra bibs/jersey and they’re definitely better fitting than last year and were comfortable on a hot ‘n’ humid three hour ride.

PerformanceBike.com

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yard dog
yard dog
6 years ago

no more wool means i’m no longer a customer.

WannaBeSTi
WannaBeSTi
6 years ago

Nice Gran Fondos

lonbob
lonbob
6 years ago

Looks like they are constructed well and the bibs actually look halfway decent but all of the jersey designs are hideous

Ck
Ck
6 years ago

I tried some of this stuff to see if I could find some cheaper training kits, but their chamois is really narrow and only has a decent thickness in one spot that just did not line up well with my sit bones. Shame because otherwise it seemed pretty decent for the price.

Robbie
Robbie
6 years ago

Good stuff! I still use my Elite bibs from 2015. They look tattered but the chamois held up very well. And come on, we all know “hideous” is in. It’s classy

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